Saturday, October 20, 2007

"What Painting Is"

"Painting is alchemy. Its materials are worked without knowledge of their properties, by blind experiment, by the feel of the paint. A Painter knows what to do by the tug of the brush as it pulls through a mixture of oils, and by the look of colored slurries on the palette. Drawing, is a matter of touch: the pressure of the charcoal on the slightly yielding, paper, the sticky slip of the oil crayon between the fingers. Artists become expert in distinguishing between degrees of gloss and wetness-- and they do so without knowing how they do it, or how chemicals create their effect."

- James Elkins

2 comments:

Mark said...

Elkins, for me, comes as close as anyone can in describing the processes artists set in motion when they try to create the golden thing that may come out of the complex "filth" of painting. Thanks for reminding me.

Aaron Sacco said...

thanks mark! it has been an awesome read for me so far. his ability to describe the painting process is like nothing i've read before. do you have any other books to suggest?